5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 27, 2010 10:07 AM by CarlaS

    Why does client's IT department resist Filemaker?

    CarlaS

      Title

      Why does client's IT department resist Filemaker?

      Post

      Why does client's IT department resist Filemaker?

      I created a Filemaker job tracking database solution for the marketing department of a large insurance conglomerate all the way back in 1998.  I think we were using FM 4 at the time.  Over the years, we have added functionality and other modifications just about every year.  Last year we upgraded to Filemaker 10 Advanced and Filemaker 10 Server Advance (from FM 5) and made major renovations to the database.   Throughout all of this time, the marketing department managers and users have been pleased with the database and it's ability to adapt to new work flow situations.  They have always liked my attitude that if it is logical, I can make FM do it.  The marketing department has never had any problems whatsoever with Filemaker.  The ONLY problem the department has had with their FM database is their IT department's absolute refusal to support or even acknowlege FM as a viable solution for anything. 

      Can anyone please explain to me the IT departments position?  Why so much resistance?

      Thanks! 

      Carla

      BACKGROUND INFO:  We are using Filemaker Pro 10 Advanced and Filemaker Server 10 Advanced. Filemaker Server Advanced is running on a Windows PC server. We have about 25 Filemaker client users (both Mac & PC). We also have non-Filemaker client users for employees company wide to access a couple of layouts via Custom Web Publishing. The cleint has been using this Filemaker database since 1998. I personally have been using Filemaker since the late 1980’s when it was called Claris Works. We just recently upgraded from Filemaker 5 to Filemaker 10 and are in the process of a major overhaul of the entire database. Records in the main table represent individual marketing jobs (usually print jobs - i.e. brochure, forms book, mailer, etc.). Then, we have about 18 related tables for tracking various aspects of a job through the production schedule, from job initiation to completion. It tracks milestone due dates, design specs, licensing information, inventory, distribution, costs, ordering, etc.

        • 1. Re: Why does client's IT department resist Filemaker?
          Mystick

          It could be that they don't have a filemaker expert. If all their other system are on another platform, the filemaker is the thing apart that is different, not well known and subject to problems at their eyes. we don't like what we don't know usally...

           

          • 2. Re: Why does client's IT department resist Filemaker?
            philmodjunk

            I have encountered this institutional bias over and over. There can be several causes:

            Many IT folks have an attitude that any DB that doesn't use SQL can't be a "real" database tool.

            FileMaker doesn't do things the way many other database applications do. If they are going to support it, they have to invest time and effort in learning how to do it right and many are unwilling to do so. Using FileMaker Server correctly, is different from just maintaining a file server where people simply navigate to a file and open it--to give one example.

            They may have been "burned" by a FileMaker database in the past. Many database tools can't be used at all unless you've got quite a bit of training and/or experience with computer programming skills. FileMaker invites in the amateurs. This is often a good thing, but for IT folks, it sometimes means that they get tasked with trying to support a "home grown" system that is very poorly designed.

            I once sat in an IT meeting where they were discussing upgrading all the workstations from XP to Vista. When FileMaker was mentioned, the whole room groaned. Part of that groan came from past experience with such a DB. I knew, because several years earlier, I'd been called in to consult on that DB. While I'd been able to suggest and implement a number of improvements, they didn't heed my warning that their design was fragile and likely to fail in a number of mysterious ways when they tried to make changes to it down the road...

            • 3. Re: Why does client's IT department resist Filemaker?
              CarlaS

              Phil,

              Thanks for your reply and I'm sure you are correct about the IT folks attitude.  Our situation is that in 12 years , IT has never been "burned" by our FileMaker database.  I surpassed the FileMaker amateur status a couple of decades ago and IT has never been tasked to support poorly designed, home grown system.  They initially chose FileMaker because of it's cross platform capabilities since their department uses both Windows and Mac systems.

              This situation has been very frustrating for the marketing department because they are quite pleased with their FileMaker database but get the poo poo from IT every time we do updates even though they don't do anything but provide a server that houses FileMaker Server.  I take care of everything else.  When marketing askes IT for better solutions they get an 18 month estimate to do something I can do in a month.  I imagine some day they will go this route, but until then, I'll just keep doing what I do, pleasing the users and forget the IT naysayers.

              Thanks!

              Carla

              • 4. Re: Why does client's IT department resist Filemaker?
                philmodjunk

                Please don't take my last post as any type of comment on your skills. It's just something you can run into from time to time.

                Another issue that you run into with many IT departments is that they have a very short list of "approved" applications that they allow on the machines. Any changes to the software list--including upgrades is often not allowed without extensive tests to confirm that all the applications "play nice" with each other. This often results in IT departments being very slow/reluctant to implement any changes until someone "convinces" them that it's necessary.

                • 5. Re: Why does client's IT department resist Filemaker?
                  CarlaS

                  Phil,

                  Oh no, no.  I did not take it that way at all.  I was just pointing out that they have not had to endure any of the headaches you described in your last post.

                  You would think that after 12 years, they would be convinced to add FileMaker to their short list of approved applications.

                  Thanks again!

                  Carla